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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Legendary pointers ‘automatic’ excitement

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The Pointer Sisters will party in Indianapolis this month with an exciting concert of their unforgettable favorites.

On May 29, the legendary group will have guests dancing during the annual Regions 500 Festival Snakepit Ball, a celebration held at the Indiana Roof Ballroom on the eve of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

A longtime tradition, the Snakepit Ball is known by many as the place to see the stars. The black-tie party includes red carpet arrivals by celebrities in town for race weekend and special VIP guests. Dinner and dancing will round out the festive evening.

Anita Pointer, who spoke with the Recorder this week, said it is fitting that her group’s first Indianapolis performance in many years is related to the race. The Pointer Sisters were taken on a tour of the motor speedway during their last visit here.

“We did a show with David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks (of The Temptations), as well as some other people,” Pointer recalled. “They took us to the track and showed us how to drive the race cars. It was so much fun.”

Known worldwide for their flawless harmony and trendy fashion sense, The Pointer Sisters won several Grammy Awards and scored numerous Top 10 hits during the ’70s and ’80s.

Natives of Oakland, Calif., The Pointer Sisters debuted with their self titled album in 1973, which featured the mid-tempo cut “Yes We Can, Can.”

Other party classics and slow jams followed, including 1975’s “Fairytale” and “How Long (Betcha’ Got a Chick on the Side”), “You Gotta’ Believe,” (1977), “Fire,” (1979), “He’s So Shy,” (1980) and “Slow Hand” (1982) and “Jump (For My Love)” (1982).

The Pointer Sister’s 1983 album “Break Out” was certified triple platinum, making it the biggest selling album of their career.

In 1984 they released four Billboard Top 10 singles in a row with “Automatic,” “Jump (For My Love),” “I’m So Excited,” and “Neutron Dance,” which appeared on the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack. The success of “Break Out” earned the sisters two Grammy Awards and two American Music Awards.

Anita Pointer said the recording of the group’s first album was an exciting point in her life, but she really enjoyed recording “Break Out.”

“That was our most successful project, and songs from it are still being played on radio stations,” she said. “But every album is a different experience and it’s always fun.”

Although the group continued to release albums into the ’90s, The Pointer Sisters have found more recent success as a dynamic touring ensemble. In addition, they have enjoyed a successful career revival in Europe, where “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves,” their 2006 collaboration with Belgian pop star Natalia, topped the charts.

The lineup of The Pointer Sisters has change over the years, with Bonnie leaving for a solo career in 1978, returning only for occasional appearances. June Pointer died in 2006 following a battle with cancer. Today, Anita and Ruth continue to perform with Ruth’s granddaughter, model Sadako Johnson.

“She is beautiful, she can sing the songs very well and she can throw in some nice dance steps,” Anita Pointer said. “Ruth and I do a pretty good job of keeping up with her.”

Pointer added that the group is looking forward to seeing longtime fans in the Circle City, and appreciates their support.

“I love and appreciate them with all of my heart,” she said. “We love to make people happy and get them excited with our music, and that’s what we’re going to do when we arrive.”

Did you know?

The Pointer Sisters’ hit “Fairytale” reached the Top 20 on the country charts, and they became the first Black female singers to perform at the Grand Ole’ Opry in Nashville, Tenn.

The group appeared in the popular 1976 film “Car Wash,” performing “You Gotta Believe.”

The Pointer Sisters have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.

Get ready to party!

Who: The Pointer Sisters

What: Indianapolis 500 Snakepit Ball

Where: Indiana Roof Ballroom, 140 W. Washington St.

When: Begins at

6 p.m. with celebrity arrivals; dinner at 7 p.m.

For more information, call (317) 614-6114 or visit www.500festival.com.

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